2022 Chevrolet Corvette Review:Driving Impressions

Jeff Youngs, Independent Expert | Feb 15, 2022

Introduction - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

Arriving with much fanfare when it debuted for the 2020 model year, the all-new eighth-generation Corvette (or C8, as it is known among sports car enthusiasts) introduced a mid-engine design for the first time in the car’s storied history. While many Corvette purists cried foul, the new mid-engine layout enabled Chevrolet engineers to extract even more performance while also giving the car a sleek new cab-forward design reminiscent of its exotic supercar rivals.

Widely considered to be the pinnacle of American performance cars, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette debuted with a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 engine, an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), and a significantly more upscale interior compared to the outgoing C7. Aside from wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto becoming standard in 2021 and the availability of a racing-inspired appearance package joining the options list this year, the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette is essentially the same as it was when it debuted in 2020. For 2023, that all changes.

Chevrolet has announced that a new, racing-inspired Corvette Z06 model with 670 horsepower will arrive for 2023, taking Corvette performance to its highest level ever. Before testing the new Z06, however, we wanted to refresh our memory of the 495-hp version of the Corvette and document its baseline performance. All in the name of research, of course.

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Price - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

The Corvette has long been a bang-for-the-buck heavyweight champion, costing tens of thousands of dollars less than competitors offering the same relative level of performance. That value proposition continues for 2022.

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is available in coupe and convertible body styles, and in three trim levels: 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. Pricing for the 1LT Coupe starts at $62,195, including the $1,295 destination charge. Step up to the mid-level 2LT Coupe and you’ll pay $69,495, while the 3LT Coupe has a base price of $74,645. All 2022 Corvette Coupe models come with a standard removable roof panel.

For those who prefer true open-air motoring, Chevrolet offers the Corvette with a power-retractable hardtop, which the automaker notes can open in as little as 16 seconds and at speeds up to 30 mph. Choosing the droptop adds about $7,500 to the price. Accordingly, 2022 Corvette Convertible pricing is as follows: 1LT ($69,695); 2LT ($77,490), and 3LT ($82,140).

For this review, I evaluated a 2022 Corvette Stingray 2LT Coupe equipped with the Z51 Performance package ($6,345), a front suspension lift system ($2,260), a Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension ($1,895), GT2 bucket seats ($1,495), upgraded wheels ($1,495), body-color exterior accents ($995), tan seat belts ($395), and chrome exterior badges ($100). The price came to $84,475, including the $1,295 destination charge.

Independent Expert Opinion: Design, Comfort, and Utility - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2LT Coupe Caffeine Metallic Front Quarter View

Photo: Jeff Youngs

One of the most dramatic changes to the Corvette when Chevrolet reimagined it for 2020 was to the car’s exterior design. If you compare the C7 and the C8 side by side, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many design elements that carried over, owing to the car’s transition from a front-engine design to a mid-engine layout.

Like all Corvettes that preceded it, the C7 featured a long hood with the driver positioned in the back half of the car. The C8, on the other hand, features a much shorter hood with a more cab-forward design, with the driver seated much closer to the front of the car. This not only improves forward visibility, it allows for a much more even distribution of weight by having the engine behind the driver, which also has performance benefits (more on that later). Long story short, the new Corvette now has supercar looks to match its performance.

The transformation inside the C8 Corvette is equally dramatic and arguably more important than the new exterior lines. For decades, critics have harped on the Corvette’s interior, citing too much cheap, hard plastic, poor fit and finish, and lackluster material quality. Chevrolet addressed all these shortcomings with the new C8. The interior is swathed in attractive, high-quality leather (with optional suede headliner and carbon-fiber accents), panel gaps are tight, and there’s a look and feel of quality to the materials that has previously been absent.

While more manageable than in previous generations of the car, getting in and out of the C8 Corvette is still a bit of a chore. However, once situated in the vehicle, it’s immediately apparent that this is a purpose-built sports car. The fighter jet-inspired driver-oriented cockpit features a squared-off steering wheel, a long, narrow row of buttons between the front seats that houses the climate controls, and a push-button gear selector, all of which make it feel like you’re piloting a land jet.

Storage space in the Corvette is surprisingly adequate for a small, 2-seat sports car. The front trunk, or frunk, can easily accommodate several grocery bags or a laptop bag, purse, and backpack, while the rear cargo compartment will hold at least one, if not two, sets of golf clubs. But not if the removable top is stored back there. If you want to drive to the golf course with the top removed, you’ll have to store it at home… and hope it doesn’t rain while you’re out.

Independent Expert Opinion: Infotainment, Technology, and Safety - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2LT Coupe Natural Interior Dashboard Front Seat

Photo: Jeff Youngs

The Corvette covers the infotainment technology basics with its Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, including an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth audio streaming, voice recognition, satellite radio, a handful of USB ports, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 10-speaker Bose premium audio system. A rear camera mirror is optional, as is a Bose Performance Series 14-speaker premium audio system, connected navigation, and a color head-up display.

As with all other Chevrolet models, connecting a smartphone was a breeze, and the infotainment system worked flawlessly during my evaluation. While I appreciated the fact that the audio system had a separate volume knob, the placement of said knob—almost directly behind the steering wheel—made it difficult to reach.

While it is true that the current Corvette isn’t particularly well endowed with the latest advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), it does offer rear cross-traffic warning and blind-spot warning as options (rear parking sensors are standard). However, it does not offer commonplace features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, or any manner of lane-keeping assistance. Of course, the bright side to this is that there’s no steep learning curve on figuring out how to use and/or deactivate various ADAS when you want to head to the track.

What it lacks in sophisticated ADAS, the Corvette makes up for by offering ample performance-related tech, including launch control, an available performance data and video recorder (PDR), a front suspension lift system to help prevent damaging the front air dam, and a drive-mode selector that lets you custom-tailor up to 12 performance variables.

Independent Expert Opinion: Driving the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2LT Coupe Caffeine Metallic Rear Quarter View

Photo: Jeff Youngs

When you look at a car like the Chevrolet Corvette, you expect it to have breathtaking performance when it comes to acceleration, handling, and braking. You might not expect world-class levels of refinement to accompany that performance. But that’s precisely what you get with the C8 Corvette.

Indeed, the 8-speed DCT coupled with the 495-hp engine in my test car provided plenty of thrust and brisk acceleration, but the power delivery was smooth and linear. And the Z51 Performance package, with all its suspension upgrades, provided a well-controlled ride and confident, fade-free braking. The Corvette delivered all this performance without a trace of drama. It was so drama-free, in fact, that it was almost disappointing.

Around town and in Tour mode, the Corvette makes for a surprisingly decent daily driver. It offers excellent forward visibility, controls are easy to use, it has a tight turning radius, and merging with traffic is a breeze. There’s plenty of cargo space for most local shopping excursions, too. Admittedly, visibility to the rear isn’t great, and the long doors can make getting out of the car in a tight parking space near impossible, but those are minor gripes.

Finding and using the PDR controls, accessed via a rotary dial on the steering wheel, was simple. While I wasn’t able to replicate Chevy’s claimed sub-3-second zero-to-60 mph time, I enjoyed trying. I also enjoyed having the engine right behind my head, the addictive sounds of the big V8 under wide-open throttle traveling directly to my ears. Having the engine so close allows one to hear things you wouldn’t typically hear, like the whooshing mechanical sound when the cylinder-deactivation system transitions from eight cylinders to four.

Independent Expert Opinion of the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

The C8 Corvette is, unequivocally, the best Corvette ever produced. Both in terms of design and performance, it raises the bar significantly compared to its predecessor. The exterior is sleek, sexy, and sporty. The interior is high-tech and well crafted. The power and performance are world-class. The price is downright astonishing. These are all reasons to celebrate.

Still, Corvette purists will tell you something is missing. Despite all the improvements introduced with the arrival of the C8, some Corvette fans feel like the link to the past has been broken, or at least irreparably damaged. Perhaps it’s the switch to the mid-engine layout, compounded by the jettisoning of the manual transmission. Whatever their reasoning, the purists will have to come to terms with the new Corvette. If they don’t, they’ll be missing out on something special.

Jeff Youngs has more than 25 years of experience in the auto industry, including 19 years with J.D. Power in both marketing and editorial management roles. He also spent nearly six years with General Motors as a media relations pro.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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